Dean's Newsletter July 2015
MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
I hope this message finds you well and that you are enjoying your summer. As we move closer to the coming school year I wanted to reach out to our Vandal Engineering friends and family to provide a round-up of notable news, accomplishments and activities from the college.
One major change is that we have hired 17 new faculty starting this year. Several of our long-time faculty have left, largely to retirements, and we have some new positions as well. We also have a few new staff. Of particular note is that we have hired new department chairs in all of the college’s departments and we will disclose more about them in a future newsletter. Our new chairs are gradually transitioning into their new roles over the summer and we are looking forward to an exciting academic year with this new leadership team in place. Now that the university’s new provost is in place, the university and college will be engaged in strategic planning this year and we will be soliciting your input over the coming months.
As our faculty, staff and administrative team evolves one thing remains the same we continue to pursue the goals of providing an exceptional academic experience to our students, growing our research and graduate programs and increasing our collaborations with industry, alumni & friends.
I’m looking forward to the new academic year, we have a lot in store please stay tuned. And as always if you have questions, you want to learn more about the college or become more engaged with us please let me know.
Larry A. Stauffer
Dean, College of Engineering
The U of I College of Engineering has joined 122 U.S. engineering schools to lead a transformative movement in engineering education. In a letter presented to President Barack Obama, U of I College of Engineering and other engineering schools committed to establish special educational programs designed to prepare students to solve the “Grand Challenges” — complex yet achievable goals to improve national and international health, security, sustainability and quality of life in the 21st century. Together, the schools plan to graduate more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.
Congratulations to U of I Center for Secure and Dependable Systems (CSDS) director Jim Alves-Foss & post-doctoral fellow Jia Song! After a yearlong competition they have been named one of seven finalists in the DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency $2 million dollar Cyber Grand Challenge described as "the world's biggest capture-the-flag contest where all the contestants are robots." Their goal is simple – revolutionize cybersecurity. Alves-Foss and Song will go up against hackers from UC Berkeley and defense giant Raytheon in the finale at the 2016 DEFCON Hacking Conference. READ MORE ABOUT THE CYBER CHALLENGE AND RECENT MEDIA ATTENTION GAINED BY ALVES-FOSS & SONG’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Mechanical engineering professor Dr. Steve Penoncello, retired this spring after 35 years in academia. Penoncello earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of North Dakota, his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He began his teaching career in 1980 at the University of North Dakota, coming back to the U of I in 1990. Penoncello chaired the Mechanical Engineering department from 1995-1999 when he assumed the post of Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering, until 2006. He was recognized as the College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Member for 2015.
The University of Idaho presented Brent Keeth, senior fellow at Micron Technology, with an honorary doctorate in engineering science during the 2015 commencement ceremony. Keeth, who works in the Advanced DRAM Architecture Group at Micron, was the co-principle developer on Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cube, an advanced high-speed dynamic random-access memory technology, which has led to improvements in products such as network routers and super computers. Keeth received his bachelor’s and master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho in 1982 and 1996, respectively, and joined Micron in 1992. He has remained involved at U of I throughout the years serving many capacities. LEARN MORE ABOUT BRENT KEETH.
The U of I College of Engineering Master of Engineering in Engineering Management has been named by SuperScholar one of the top 50 degree programs of its kind in the country. SuperScholar is an online site that releases annual Smart Choice Rankings to help students find the best online degree programs for the best price. Often called “The Engineer’s MBA,” a master’s degree in Engineering Management bridges the gap between engineering and management, and effectively prepares working engineering and technical professionals for advancement into managerial and executive roles. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OUR RANKING AND THE U OF I ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.
Every year the faculty and staff of the College of Engineering nominate and vote for their peers, graduate students and graduating seniors who stand out among the rest. These outstanding faculty, staff, graduate students and seniors help shape our college by setting a higher standard of achievement. Congratulations to professors: Steve Penoncello and Tao Xing; staff: Ray Anderson, Beth Cree and Terri Gaffney; graduate students: Glenn Roth and Kalyan Chitrada; and graduating seniors: Braden Comstock, Breanna Wong, Taylor Romenesko, Amy Wohlschlegel, Shea Newton, Brandon Arawkawa, James Tigue and Amanda White. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR 2015 OUTSTANDING PEOPLE.
John C. Crepeau, professor and out-going chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and conduct research at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Crepeau will spend six months — September 2015 through March 2016 — in Ecuador teaching a course in fluid mechanics on the topic of turbulence, in Spanish. He will also serve as a visiting researcher on a team studying how additives change the properties of fluids to optimize engineering systems in order to make them more efficient. LEARN MORE ABOUT JOHN’S FULBRIGHT.
The College of Engineering inducted six new members in to the Academy of Engineers earlier this spring: Don Kopczynski ‘79, Charles C. Mitchell ‘59, Burch Roark ‘55, George Simmons ‘66 & ‘65, Allen Stubberud ‘56, and Keith Van Scotter ‘79 & ‘77. The Academy of Engineers, now in its fifth year, honors eminent engineers who are University of Idaho alumni or engineers deeply connected to U of I’s strong legacy of global engineering impact. Academy members are recognized for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, engineering education, and lifetime commitment to advancing the quality of life through service to the profession and society. LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUALS.
U of I mechanical engineering alum Sophie Milam recently "returned to earth" from an eight month simulated mission to Mars in Hawaii. Milam, a recent U of I mechanical engineering master’s graduate was selected from hundreds to be one of six participants in the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS Mission 3, a project funded by the NASA Human Research Program that simulates a long-duration Mars mission here on Earth. While in the simulated dome environment in Hawaii Milam was named to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30 2015 in science” list. You can read more about “Sophie’s Life on Mars” in her own words at her blog. LEARN ABOUT THE HI-SEAS, MISSION 3 RESEARCH PROJECT
It’s well documented that vehicle exhaust, fossil fuels and other forms of pollutions contribute to global warming. But so can more innocuous natural resources: Like rivers. Civil engineering researchers at the college’s Center for Ecohydraulics Research’s (CER) have found that rivers produce 10 percent of the entire human-caused nitrous oxide emitted in the world. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas, air pollutant and contributor to climate change. Considered over a 100-year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit mass (global warming potential) than carbon dioxide. LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT RESEARCH.
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